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Pet Therapy and Mania

This is Part 4 in a 5-Part Series: "When the World is Too Bright: An Intensive View of Mania from On the Ground" 
(Read Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 5 here) 
 

I moved back home with my mother a few years ago for financial reasons. Now that I’m back in graduate school, it’s been an even bigger help. My mom has a teensy tiny Yorkie named Brandi. Brandi can be a handful! She loves to give sloppy kisses, and to sleep on top of your head or under your back. She’s also a bit aggressive (aren’t the smaller dogs always?!) with other dogs and some people. But she can be a sweetheart.

When I started to feel manic, I’m sure she sensed it. She followed me around even more than usual. Most nights, she chose to sleep with me rather than in her own bed or with my mom. And I appreciated every minute of it.

When I have been hospitalized or have attended IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) in the past, we have done pet therapy with dogs. I am no animal lover, but there is something about animals loving on humans when we don’t feel our best. It is an immediate mood booster and spirit lifter.

Or in the case of my mania, it slows me down and takes me out of my head. When caring for Brandi, if my mom forgets, I have to remember to feed her and take her for walks. I have to say that it is nice not to have the full responsibility of caring for Brandi, but I do appreciate her presence in my life.

Brandi’s kisses.       

Lounging in the backyard with Brandi. I work; she plays.

Cuddling with Brandi.  

Out for a walk.

Trying to get a head-on shot with her is so hard! Brandi – look at the camera!

She loves the sun! She will seek it out wherever it lands in the house.

This post originally appeared on Manic Monique's Meanderings.

See the rest of Krystal's posts for IBPF here. She also blogs at Manic Monique's Meanderings and for the Huffington Post.

 

Comments

Hi Krystal! Thank you for sharing the benefits you experience caring for a lovely dog. I recently moved in with me dad and I feel I could benefit but he already has a large dog and doesn't want more than one dog in the house. I am hoping to live on my own again someday and I hope I get a dog as loving as Brandi is! I never really considered the pet being good at fending off a manic episode.
Thanks again for sharing!

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